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Play It Cool (1962)
what 1962 looked and sounded like. .
I'd give this 9 out of ten of Bobby Vee sang a few more songs. Billy Fury and Helen Shapiro appear and sing adding much interest to this well made 1962 Brit nightclub musical with excellent images and music allowing more than a dream glimpse into London of the time. This is a good scrapbook/jukebox musical and I certainly encourage you to enjoy it. I find Bobby See astonishing. He died recently and equipped with looks and song talent he is a welcome addition to this movie. Helen Shapiro is gorgeous and very direct in her style. Billy Fury is an Elvis/Cliff Richard mix and I have no argument with his performance or style. I know the limp floppy look of Fury irritates some but it was his individual look and it worked for him. This is a well made musical and a bonus with the guest stars and the crafted musical sequences.
Three Hats for Lisa (1966)
Deserves a re-working called ONE DAY IN London
Keep the songs and ditch the story and as with KINKY BOOTS, here is an outdated 60s musical that deserves having its dance routines and songs rescued and livened up into a new musical, swinging 60s style. There is room this century to look again at some quite terrific 60s tunes and imagery and see them reach a new audience. THREE HATS FOR LISA is a lame title for what is a full blown original screen musical. A funny idea, and very good songs and amazing orchestrations, this musical from 1965 would have been outdated by 1967 but the foundation and dance/music is all there as a solid big musical should be. Joe Brown and his character are irritating and basically immature and silly, but the girls: Sophie hardy and Una Stubbs are wonderful as is Dave Nelson, who is the 'Frankie Avalon' on the group. Sid James and his music hall patter is OK. It looks to want to be a Tommy Steele musical. I admire this film a lot and wish to see the songs reworked into a better stronger story line and re titles as a stage show called London. or ONE DAY IN London.
Hotel de Love (1996)
LOVE HURTS, 20 years later.
I wanted to like this but the subplot of the other twin carrying on like love starved Puck or Bottom or whoever the hell he was supposed to be.... it is all just suburban theater put on film, in 1997. One minute this film actually almost becomes FOUR WEDDINGS etc and then it lapses into "wacky pratfall farce' on Pufnstuf Willy-Wonka sets and in some scenes THE RITZ but, oh, it keeps becoming some sort of dinner theater farce in some over produced sets with "ACTORS!!!" who are "ACTING...!!!" What might have seemed funny 20 years ago in this multiplex wannabee is not funny now when better slicker films are the norm. HOTEL DE LOVE is a cute idea with some money behind it, and very good looking young actors, but it lurches into amateur constantly, one dreadful downside of the writer also being the director and the enterprise needing a strong no nonsense helm. A re make in 2020 might be a better vision. Literally.
Blue Denim (1959)
very effective c/s b/w 1959 sit com teen drama...
Dated as it may be, BLUE DENIM, or BLUE JEANS as it was known overseas, is still an effective teen pregnancy film, and no doubt a big deal of it's time. Carol Lynley is by far the best actor in this modest but visually quite engrossing studio bound movie from Fox, with really beautiful c/s b/w imagery and TV style settings and acting. It reminded me a lot of COMPULSION and THE STRIPPER and KISS ME STUPID and even IN COLD BLOOD with its rural town suburbia in CinemaScope b/w, a style I have always thought atmospheric and effective. Brandon De Wilde clearly just 16 or 17 is quite puppy-fat terrific as the handsome nice boy with the Patty Duke Show style parents, but it is Carol Lynley who acts everyone else off the screen. I grew to really love this film as it went on and actually had a good cry. It still works if you are willing to see it as a very strong teen pregnancy film of its time which must have really had an effect on every teen who saw it. Tragic that DeWilde was killed at 30 in a car crash, as this film had the Rebel Without A Cause image and emotion well presented. Quite beautiful for many reasons and wonderfully frank for 1959. It must have made millions of dollars on a very low budget. There is a wonderful horrible Gothic moment with the abortionists car and the hag within.
PAN is a gorgeous mess. Visually beautiful with a superb music score, this mish mash of the writer and director's favorite movie scenes, all shoved together and pelted at the audience, ends up being infuriating and tedious. Peter Pan was written by JM Barrie in about 1904. Not 1940, as this film thinks it starts. The London Blitz sets the Little Orphan Peter scenes with cartoon Catholic Nuns and suddenly switches to galleons which whisk kids through The Batlle Of Britain to Mad Max Thunderdome or is it Fury Road. Utter preposterous ridiculous rubbish, even by fantasy standards. This is THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MAUNCHHAUSEN colliding with MADAM BUTTERFLY in operatic OLIVER cacophony with Hugh Jackman in the most stupid pirate lacquer since Burt Lancaster in THE CRIMSON PIRATE. Hook is introduced and played by a ridiculous Garret Hedlind who clearly has been told to sound like Jack Nicholson imitating Clint Eastwood imitating John Huston dressed as Indiana Jones doing Michael Douglas in ROMANCING THE STONE. Some jungle scenes crash in which collide Aztec SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON with RAPA NUI. A risible crystal amphetamine smoking scene should have been deleted from the picture as is all hunting the addictive crystal should have been. The endless fighting, screaming and yelling will drive any audience to tears... and then it all ends. This is a terrible beautiful mess of a film, and I groaned audibly often. Levi Miller is magnificent as Peter... but what is this Pan Flute crap? JM Barrie did not write PETER PAN FLUTE. This is just stupid, endlessly. What a waste of all the craftsmanship on show.
Gone Girl (2014)
Terrific until the 140th minute
Well, how's this for a terrific soap opera..... all too clever by half, and with so many new century thriller films, paints itself into a corner that cannot be redeemed in the running time. Here is a great modern destructive thriller with an ending that completely undoes the whole film. Drone character husband meets cryptic woman manipulator who scores a 10/10 for bitch mayhem. Wealth allows plot points and absurd new characters to be hired to glance sideways. In-joke about deception sees gay actor hired as hetero obsessed stalker lover. Ice blonde proves to be better temptress than all the men mired in ghastly double dealings. Oakie rednecks prove to be the smartest characters in WASP thriller. Stay gasping until the 139th minute. Admire the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. Toss food at the screen. Shake head as credits roll.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Clever slick and all Steed-shiny...but this film, poached from KILL BILL, THE SAINT, INCEPTION, THE AVENGERS, any 60s BOND etc...with added CLOCKWORK ORANGE violence simply shows that Matthew Vaughn is just another vile Tarantino wannabee handed a big budget and excessively indulgently produced a stupid film with set pieces of boring ugly violence. Some scenes, as in the church, are just disgusting, and from that point the interest level wanes. The scenes in the mountain lair are INCEPTION meets ON HER MAJESTYS SECRET SERVICE with absurd and endless killing which ultimately made me feel ill. 30 minutes too long and from a clown copycat director, this film is great initially, for 60 minutes and then irritating and vile for 70 minutes. Yes the damn thing runs 130 minutes. I really did feel sick and exhausted when it finished. I thought it all a shocking waste of production money time and the studio's trust. To show contempt for the audience with such cretinous perverse 'action' and result, the villain even spews on the audience. Then there is the 'hilarious' anal sex joke. The last 70 minutes of this chrome dildo of a movie are truly horrible.
A vulgar catastrophe
Yeesh...why is this film in existence. ANIMAL HOUSE in 1978 was funnier and without the swearing and the titty/dick jokes. Why is Seth Rogan allowed to just smear this nappy on the screen? This is a god-awful film and not anywhere as interesting as Belushi's NEIGHBOURS from 1981. It's the crudity and the sexist jokes that sting here... it's just tedious. The Robert De Niro party idea is wasted, and editing in the last 30 minutes makes no sense... where are the other neighbors which logically would make up a subplot, and half the movie is spent with the audience asking "where is the baby"... Dave Franco must have busted the casting couch in Hollywood to get this part, and the talent of the terrific Zac Efron is again wasted. This is crude ugly film. Stupid and unfunny. I tossed the blu-ray in the bin. Zac Efron needs to make the movie about Tyrone Power in the 40s and exit this trash asap.
Tedious crude vanity project: BUNGLED SADDLES is more apt.
Hopefully the end is nigh for the idiotic unfunny XXX level crudity from Seth MacFarlane. This beautifully designed and produced western sinks under the imbecile immature sex jokes and at A HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE MINUTES.........that is the biggest joke of all, that this 80 minute idea takes two and a quarter hours to lick the screen. Obviously our frat-boy Seth was so enamored with his skills on and off the screen that the edit suite was clogged with his face too. This is a lame film and not worth your money or time. The sheer endless crudity was just pointless and tedious. The opening night party must have drawn some stifled yawns from the guest list, and I am sure even Universal were polite, and then hoped to hell he never got to do this trash again. Mel Brooks 4o years ago did it better and so did the Marx Bros in 1941. Half of the movie is repeated conversations of him and Theron just chatting, as if that is enough.
The Thing (2011)
Teeth From Outer Space.
This pointless remake is so terrible and laughable as to be annoying. Silly big Jabberwocky gnashers and spaghetti veins and cardboard sets and yelling about in the dark. Honestly, why remake so badly. The ending is outrageous, silly cutting into the credits with leftover scenes if maybe a sequel. Well NO thanks. I really enjoyed the 1982 remake with Kurt Russell and it all should have been left at that. This new remake is an insult. I suppose Joel Edgerton accepted a role here and collected a few hundred $$$ dollars which should have been given to charity. The music sounded like Television sci-fi.. as if lifted or borrowed from LOST IN SPACE 1965. How did these messy silly aliens build this craft, why, where did it come from... what a waste. Cockroaches can't fly a spacecraft, even if they have three heads dangling from their groin. Silly. Awful.